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Effective Treatment is Available
There are 2 main treatments for GAD: counseling, also called psychotherapy, and medication. Either treatment may work for you. Or you may find that the most effective therapy is a combination of both.
Counseling, or psychotherapy, is often called "talk therapy," and it comes in many forms, but basically it is aimed at helping you develop new ways to cope with problems and stress, and to identify and understand more about your anxiety and how to avoid it in the future. Psychotherapy may take place in individual, group, or family sessions, and as with medication, the process itself may take some time before it is effective.
Anti-anxiety medications, like LEXAPRO®, can help control anxiety symptoms and enable you to get back to your normal life. Medications to treat anxiety include benzodiazepines, some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), non-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs), and buspirone. Benzodiazepines are generally prescribed for short periods of time, sometimes in combination with approved SSRIs. SSRIs were originally developed for depression, but some have also been proven effective for many kinds of anxiety. Busiprone is a newer anti-anxiety medication that is a member of a family of medications known as azapirones.
LEXAPRO is a member of the SSRI family. SSRIs work by increasing the available supply of serotonin, a chemical in the brain believed to influence mood. SSRIs may take a few weeks to be effective, but they work well and are generally safe. Studies have shown that they are not addictive in most people. LEXAPRO has been shown to effectively reduce the symptoms of GAD and depression. Some patients have seen improvement in symptoms after 1 or 2 weeks of taking LEXAPRO, but it may take 4 to 6 weeks to feel the full therapeutic effect of the drug.
If you do choose treatment with a drug such as LEXAPRO, it's important that you take your medication even after relief from symptoms begins. People don't suddenly develop GAD, and likewise, full recovery takes time. It's important to talk to your doctor about the best treatment option for you.
The GAD Self-Screener
GAD is a real illness that requires attention from a qualified healthcare professional. If you think you may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), take a few minutes to complete the GAD Self-Screener, a checklist of 10 questions. Any answers you provide are completely confidential. The checklist can assist you during your consultation with your healthcare professional. Arming yourself with this helpful information is an important first step in taking control of your wellbeing.